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Overseas students should be exempt from immigration statistics, says BIS select committee

6 September 2012

Union welcomes committee's report as 'sensible voice' in immigration debate

Overseas students should not be recorded in migration figures said the influential business, innovation and skills (BIS) select committee today.
In a report 'Overseas Students and Net Migration' the committee called on the government to record overseas students under a classification that does not count against the overall limit on net migration in order to allow the UK to continue to expand its share of the overseas student market.
Last week's decision to revoke London Metropolitan University's licence to teach non-EU students was seen by many commentators as a political move to try and reduce immigration. UCU welcomed the committee's report and the particular emphasis on the benefits international students bring to the UK.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Finally we are hearing some sensible and measured voices in the debate over international students and immigration. It is particularly encouraging that the committee tasked with overseeing higher education recognises the widespread benefits overseas students bring to the UK and the huge damage that is being done by the alarming message that they are not welcome here.
The chairman of the business, innovation and skills committee, Adrian Bailey MP, said: 'The committee notes the government's desire to reduce net migration. However, there is a clear conflict between this policy and the desire to attract more overseas students to the UK. Moreover, the way in which the policy has been implemented and measured is clearly having a detrimental impact on the UK's ability to expand our share of the overseas student market.'
The full report can be found here
Last updated: 11 December 2015